Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

and establish factories for the collection of slaves, at some convenient spot, whilst the vessels cruise off and on with perfect impunity, from the English, French, and other cruizers, who cannot capture them, unless they have the slaves actually on board; and as soon as the coast is clear, and the wind is fair, they get their slaves on board, and being generally fast sailers, they defy all pursuers. The South Americans being at war with Spain, and the Buenos Ayreans, with both Spain and Brazil, they capture all under those flags, whether they have or have not on board, their cargo of slaves.

The Colonists, I find, are much alarmed at the idea of incensing these people, who are so powerful, lest they should injure them by cutting up their commerce on this coast. It will be recollected by the Society, that there has been no American vessel cruising on this coast for many years. The Ontario stopped here a short time last year, and the Shark, which is now here, is only authorized to delay, for the reception of my despatches to the Navy Department. I hope the Board will urge upon the Government the necessity of keeping a vessel on the coast. I will pledge my medical reputation, that it can be done with but little risk from disease, if proper precautions are used. Neither the officers por men need be exposed on shore at night, the only dangerous period; and the men need not be landed at all, as the Kroomen may be employed for three or four dollars a month, to procure wood, water, and do all the other work on shore. I hope the Shark will prove an instance, in proof of the correctness of this proposition. The activity of our squadron during the last two or three years, has driven the pirates entirely from the West Indies, and the Gulph of Mexico, and we have every reason to believe, that the same set are now engaged on this coast, in the double capacity of pirates and slavers.

I have been so fortunate as to meet with a Mandingo from Su.500, a country bordering on the territory of Footah Jallo, from whom, with the assistance of Mr. Gomez, a highly intelligent African, educated in Europe, I have obtained a translation of the letter I obtained from Prince to his relatives in Teemboo. I have sent enclosed the translation of the letter, in the hand of Mr. Gomez, which I send as a specimen of African penmanship. I inquired of the Mandingo, whether he could take charge of

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

the letter; but finding that he spoke doubtingly, and did not expect to return to his country for many months, I determined not to entrust him with it, but to await a better opportunity. I permitted him to take a copy of the letter, and promised him a handsome compensation, if he would obtain an answer to it from Teemboo.

I have this day had a long conversation with Mr. Dungey, one of the individuals who have penetrated farthest into the interior, for the purposes of trade, and am much pleased with the result. His statement is as follows. --Himself and three others of the Colonists, have been several times to King Boatswain's town, 150 miles in the interior, for the purpose of trade. They take the path, which is an open one, and well suited for men and beasts of burthen, about six miles from the mouth of the St. Paul's, and penetrate in a northern direction, through immense forests, filled with herds of elephants, and innumerable other wild animals. During the whole distance, until they get within 20 miles of Boatswain's town, they pass no settlements and meet with no natives, except the elephant hunters, who are very numerous, but always friendly.

When they arrive within twenty miles of Boatswain's town, they find the country open and well cultivated, with many eattle and some horses. The town contains more than 1,000 houses, and is well fortified with a barricade; and 8,000 men, armed with muskets, can be brought to its defence. Boatswain is generally at war with his neighbours, but has been uniformly friendly towards us, and seems much disposed to carry on a more extensive trade with the people of the Colony. By opening'a direct path, the distance may be reduced to 120 miles.Our traders carry with them tobacco, pipes, muskets, powder, cloths, and other African trade articles, and in return obtain, bullocks, ivory and gold. From what I can learn, the St. Paul's, after passing the falls at Millsburg, is a deep navigable river, extending several hundred miles in a northerly direction. Mr. Dungey assured me, that he was at the St. Paul's, within 25 miles of Boatswain's town, and found it half a mile wide, deep, and navigable, and free from all falls or obstructions. There are several large islands at this point, one of which, called Haramahia, he described as five miles wide and more than ten in

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

length. He says that the people there told him, that the time was when the slavers came up in their boats to this point, with goods to buy slaves. This fine river is on the map described as the Montserado, but its mouth is several miles north of Cape Montserado, though it is connected with the river of that name, by a deep navigable creek, the Stockton. I have no doubt that, by means of this fine river, we will in time, open a trade with the interior, by which we may divert to this place, much of the gold and ivory, which is now carried to Sierra Leone, on the North, and Cape Coast to the South. I have already ascertained here, that a company can be formed with a capital of a thousand or two dollars, for the purpose of making an experiment in this trade, on a larger scale than has hitherto been done, and I will probably take shares in it, as authorized by the Society, to the amount of one or two hundred dollars. I will send a message to Boatswain in a few days, with a present, and will endeavour to induce him to open a more direct path from our settlement, and to permit us to carry on a trade with the people beyond him, and establish a factory in his town. At present, the goods of our traders are carried on the backs of men, and cost them for trans. portation, about fifty cents a hundred there, and as much back, with the returns. Mules or Jacks might be used to advantage for this purpose, and if we could use the River St. Paul's, even if we had to make a portage at Millsburg, it would be still better.

Jan. 6th. It will be seen by the statements of Mr. Waring and Mr. Weaver, relative to the death of Mr. Cary, that the government of the Colony has had a very serious difficulty with some of the native kings, relative to a slave factory which had been established near our settlement. I found on my arrival, that Mr. Waring, the Vice-Agent, had, after the death of Mr. Cary, communicated with King Brister, and that he had expressed his anxiety for peace, but, at the same time, his determination to defend himself if attacked. He denied the right of the Colony to interfere with him or his slave trade, beyond the St. Paul's, the line of their territory. As the slave factory, the original cause of the difficulty, had been broken up when I arrived, I felt no disposition to renew the quarrel, and I will endeavour to adjust the thing amicably. Indeed, with our present

[ocr errors]

very

limited means for attack or defence, the Colony has nothing to gain, and every thing to lose, by a war with the natives.

The trade of this place is now very considerable, and is becoming greater every day, as its capital and number of vessels for carrying on the coasting trade, increase. Besides six or eight smaller decked vessels, we now have belonging to the Colony, two larger schooners, the one above 30 and the other above 40 tons, employed in the coasting trade. I have enclosed certified statements of the exports from this place, during the year 1828, by two of our principal commission merchants. I have not yet been able to get statements from the others, but presume

that the whole may be estimated at 60 or $70,000. In addition to this, our Colony has afforded facilities to American merchants, trading on the coast, to three times that amount.

In conformity with the resolutions of the Society, on the subject of the tonnage duty, to be collected on vessels in the ports of this Colony, I have appointed Francis Devany revenue officer, and given to him the necessary instructions for the performance of his duties. The resolutions of the Board, in relation to the extension of grants of land, on condition of improvements, to certain individuals, will be carried into effect, as soon as I have acquired by visiting Millsburg, a sufficient knowledge of the subject to enable me to judge of its necessity.

I have the honour to be,
Gentlemen, respectfully,

Your ob't. servant,

R. RANDALL,

Colonial Agent.

4

Remarks on Emigration from the United

States to Liberia.

Emigrants from the Southern States, should arrrive at Liberia in November, December, or January; so as to have the whole of the dry season to build their houses, clear their lands, and plant their crops, by the commencement of the rainy season.com

From the North, they should leave the United States early in the summer, so as to have several months of the cool season, to get accustomed to the climate. Mechanics should bring the implements of their trades, and those who are to farm, should have axes, hatehets, hoes, spades, and short, strong cutlasses, to cut away the bushes. All should have a supply of clothing, for at least two years, and a few small, light cooking utensils. No family to be sent out without having a good proportion of strong young men and women to work for the children. Old men and women never to be sent, if it can be avoided without breaking family connexions. Mechanics, such as carpenters, masons, shoe-makers and boat-builders, are much in demand. A halfdozen of the latter could get constant employment and good wages. Men or women who can give instruction in reading and writing, will be invaluable.

The ration should consist of the following articles in about the proportions named, viz:-six ounces of pork, six ounces of hard bread, half a pint of rice, corn, peas, beans, or its equivalent in potatoes, and an onion or two per day, with half a pint of vinegar, a pint of molasses, and two ounces of common tea per week. An iron hand-mill, or a mortar and pestle, will be sufficient to convert the corn into hommony, for a whole ship’s company, and will be useful on their arrival here. There should be a large cooking apparatus on board, and care should be taken, that they have a large supply of water, to enable them to cook their food in fresh water. There should always be a confidential white or black man on board to issue the provisions and attend to their management, under the direction of the captain.

In all cases, a supply of trade goods, in the proportions stated in a paper made out by Mr. Ashmun, and now in the hands of Mr. Gurley, should be sent out. Not less than $10 should be allowed to each unprovided adult, for the supply of food until they can procure it by their own exertions. If goods are not sent, and the Agent has to procure them here, they will cost the Society beyond their freight, at least 37 ) per cent. advance. The ration above mentioned will not cost more than the common ration, and will amount to much less than the Society have generally paid.

RICHARD RANDALL.

« ZurückWeiter »